Series: One Game Playoff
San Diego Padres (89-73) vs. Colorado Rockies (89-73)
Location: Coors Field - Denver Colorado
Time: 7:37 Eastern Time (5:37 Mountain Time)
October 1st, 2007
Winner advances to National League Division Series vs. Philadelphia Phillies
Pitchers: Padres: Jake Peavy (19-6, 2.36 ERA)
Rockies: Josh Fogg (10-9, 4.79 ERA)
You've all seen the commercials. First it was Don Cheadle attempting to grasp the drama that the climax of the postseason brings with the help of dramatic, timeless playoff clips. Unfortunately for Cheadle, words fail to justify. Then it was Dane Cook, using elaborate hand gestures to hammer it in that nothing on God's green earth that can replace the MLB Playoffs. There is, after all, only one October.
Well, we now have a very special October on our hands. An October that carries with it a possible Yankee/Red Sox ALCS rematch and an end to one of MLB's two longest World Series droughts [Cubs (99 years), Indians (59)]. An October that brings with it one of the most unlikely division winners in the past decade, and another that ended a 9 year streak of division championships from a certain New York baseball team. The height of America's pastime includes a team with a furry curse, one with a broken curse, and enough pitching aces to satisfy 30 teams. Finally, to cap it all off, we have one of the most exciting postseason events in the modern era: the one game playoff, the first since 1999.
In the past, the one game playoff has sporadically added that little extra drama to the Games That Count, 6 times to be exact since 1903, none of which have contained either the Rockies or the Padres. Of course, everyone remembers, or has at least seen, Bucky F****** Dent's home run that squeaked over the Green Monster in 1978. Perhaps today will bring more hope-crushing, riveting drama of the like.
One thing I find interesting is that, not only are the Indians and the Cubs attempting to end life-long title droughts, but both teams in today's game, the Padres and the Indians, are still seeking their first victories on baseball's grandest stage, the World Series. One thing is clear: 2007 is quickly becoming a fantastic year for baseball.
The story of the Colorado Rockies' road to this one game playoff is one to tell the grandsons. Winning 13 of their last 14 game of the season, the Rockies have, on the back of MVP candidate Matt Holliday, become electrifyingly hot at just the right time. Sweeping the Padres in a three game series and the Dodgers twice, including both games of a doubleheader, and taking 3 of 4 from the Diamondbacks, the city of Colorado is on a miracle run towards history that has one more stop: San Diego for one final game.
San Diego's path towards today's early evening game has less than brilliant. After a promising 7 game winning streak halfway through September, it looked like San Diego was going to take the Wild Card with ease. However, the finished off the season on a 4-6 slide, including losing the final two games of the season to the struggling Milwaukee Brewers. Disheartened, the Friars send ace Jake Peavy to the mound against opposing starter Josh Fogg.
Jake Peavy: I checked the dictionary, there are no adjectives to describe his season thus far. With a sub-2.50 ERA and a 19 win season, this country bumpkin is nearly a lock for the Cy Young award, despite a big slide midway through the season. With a nasty slider, a high-90s fastball, and control that would catch the envy of a modern-day stealth bomber, Peavy has been the biggest beast on the most beastly pitching rotation from Seattle to Miami. That's a feat to be proud of when you've got 6'10" Chris Young throwing behind you. You know he's going to pitch well today. The only question remaining is whether or not my little sister's T-ball team...er, I mean...the San Diego lineup...can produce enough runs to knock off Colorado and reach the Promised Land.
The Rockies, on the other hand, are throwing Josh Fogg, a mediocre .500 pitcher. Fogg has been "hot" as of late, and has made it through the 5th inning in each of his last 6 starts with a collective ERA of under 3. However, in none has be made it through the 7th, which is what the Rockies will be hoping for tonight from him. The lineup is littered with young phenoms in home-field star Matt Holliday, OF Brad Hawpe, Mr. Clutch Troy Tulowitski, and the smooth-swinging Garret Atkins. They also have veteran workhorse Todd Helton who, despite ever decreasing power numbers, is having a great (and healthy) season this year. The key for the Rockies today is going to be Fogg. If he can give them a performance similar to that of his last 2 starts, then it will give Colorado a perfect opportunity to slip some runs across Peavy and take the Wild Card.
Cardsox' prediction: Josh Fogg will come through for the Rockies tonight, as will their offense against Jake Peavy and the shellshocked Padres.
- Rockies: 9
- Padres: 1